Category Archives: Drama

No. 2 ~ Favorite Films of 1993

#2 ~ Schindler’s List


In 2007, the American Film Institute ranked Schindler’s List 8th on its list of the 100 best American films. Directed and co-produced by Steven Spielberg, Schindler’s List is based on the novel Schindler’s Ark by Thomas Keneally, an Australian novelist. The film tells the story of Oskar Schindler, a German businessman who saved the lives of more than a thousand mostly Polish-Jewish refugees during the Holocaust by employing them in his factories. It stars Liam Neeson as Schindler, Ralph Fiennes as Schutzstaffel (SS)-officer Amon Göth, and Ben Kingsley as Schindler’s Jewish accountant Itzhak Stern. John Williams composed the score.

Not only is this film  good, it is one of the greats, the story is good the acting is amazing, but the cineamatography, sets, costumes and the directing is par excellence. As one critic states, Ultimately, the film is memorable as much for simple testimony as for the cinematic art it displays.

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Posted by on February 7, 2013 in 1993, 90's, Drama, Fav Films of 1993


No. 4 ~ Favorite Films of 1993

#4 ~ What’s Eating Gilbert Grape?


This film was my first introduction to Leonardo DiCaprio, and I became an instant fan.  His portrayal of Arnie Grape, a mentally challenged boy being raised by his obese and severely depressed mother was remarkable. Johnny Depp, who is also fantastic in his role, plays Gilbert Grape, Dicaprio’s older brother, who has taken over and a caretaker for his brother. The film focuses on Gilbert’s frustration with his life and his circumstances, and feels trapped as he knows he has to take care of his brother or he will be put in a home, as his mother certainly can not care for him.  The relationship between the two brothers is what makes the film, as you can feel the enduring love Gilbert has for his brother, yet wants so badly to do something with his life. Arnie, on the other hand loves his brother, but has no concept of what his brother is sacrificing.

Juliette Lewis also stars in this film as a tourist that gets stranded in town with her grandmother when their travel trailer breaks down, and she becomes involved with Gilbert, and he begins to fall in love. I think this is one of her best performances.  I love this film and all it’s quirkiness, and its realism. Definitely one of my favorites.

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Posted by on February 2, 2013 in 1993, 90's, Drama, Fav Films of 1993


No. 5 ~ Favorite Films of 1993

#5 ~ In the Name of the Father


There is no question that Daniel Day-Lewis is one of the best actors of our generation, or possibly of all time. This film and his performance is another example of his raw and powerful talent.  This film is based upon the  true story of Gerry Conlon, (played by Daniel Day-Lewis) a man falsely accused of the 1974 Guildford pub bombings orchestrated by the IRA. Directed by Jim Sheridan, who directed Lewis to Oscar fame with My Left Foot.  Emma Thompson also give a stirring performance as the attorney who works tirelessly to prove Conlon is innocent.

Not only does this film tell the story of social injustice but is a remarkable and powerful drama with a more intimate family tale of estranged father and son, played by Daniel Day-Lewis and Peter Postlethwaite, who also gave a performance of a lifetime. Their story is appealing and draws you in they are what really make this film. Their performances pull some of the slow moments and times where the movie lags and bring it back to par. Stirring movie with stirring performances a must see for any fan of the movies.

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Posted by on January 30, 2013 in 1993, 90's, Drama, Fav Films of 1993


No. 6 ~ Favorite Films of 1993

#6 ~ The Piano


The Piano deserves a place among the classics. The story, the cinematography and the amazing acting by Holly Hunter and young Anna Paquin was astounding and powerful.  it is not just a tale of a woman’s passion and story, but the story of each one of us in some way. The sexual tension, and antagonistic mood, moved me in a way a film rarely does. I could watch this film over and over and see something new each time i watch it. Makes it feel like its the first time. Hunter and Paquin won well deserved Oscars for Actress and supporting Actress. Jane Campion won Best Original Screenplay Oscar for this wonderful film which was also nominated for Best Picture and Best Director.

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Posted by on January 25, 2013 in 1993, 90's, Drama, Fav Films of 1993


The Worst of 1960 ~ #2 – Desire in the Dust


Desire in the Dust tried to jump on the “southern” style movie Bandwagon, and it fell off.  Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, was the premire southern movie of this time, as was Long Hot Summer, but Desire in the Dust just couldn’t measure up. Raymond Burr just wasn’t right for this role, nor was Joan Bennett as his disturbed wife, she spent most of her time mourning her dead son.

This film tried to put as much into this story as it possibly can in 102 minutes and none of it works. Even the plot summary in IMDB is confusing. Almost as confusing as the movie itself. What it mainly boils down to is a sahrecropper’s son is released from prison for running over a young boy, which he didn’t do. It was actually the boys sister that was driving the car that killed her brother, and the sharecropper’s son took the rap becasue he was in love with the daughter…who as it happens got married while he was in prison, and now he seeks vengence. This and a whole lot more thrown together, makes this a poorlyscripted, poorly cast, poorly performed and poorly directed film.

With better direction and a somewhat less entangled script this film could have actually been good.

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Posted by on December 17, 2012 in 1960, 60's, Drama, Romance, Worst of 1960


The Worst of 1960 ~ #5 – 5 Branded Women


Produced by Dino De Laurentiss, it is an Italian/American production filmed on location in Austria.  The cast includes both Italian and American actors, lead by Van Heflin and the beautiful Silvana Mangano and Barbara Bel Geddes (who would later been known on TV as Miss Ellie Ewing, on Dallas).   In a small Nazi occupied Yugoslavian village, one German Sargeant spends most of his time getting laid by as many local girls as he can.  Some of the women are willing participants while others have to be intimidated. He convinces one woman that unless she has sex with him her brother will be taken away. Five women, who are believed to have gave “comfort” to the enemy, have their hair cut very short to mark them as traitors and are sent out of town to fend for themselves.

The story continues as these women become soldiers with a group of guerrilla fighters.  It soon becomes slow and boring, and any action mostly involves sexual encounters. It’s like a soap opera instead of a war film. It is also shot in black and white, which many dramas in the 1960’s would be, but this film could have benefited from being done in color, just due to the locale it was filmed. Van Heflin gave one of his worse performances, and the rest of the cast were pretty unforgettable.

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Posted by on December 14, 2012 in 1960, 60's, Drama, Worst of 1960


Favorite Films of the Year – 1960 ~ # 2 – Elmer Gantry


Elmer Gantry, from the novel written by Sinclair Lewis, adapted and directed by Richard Brooks. This is a film I never get tired of watching. Burt Lancaster is superb as a con man traveling with a feamle evangelist and “selling” religion. Both Lancaster and Shirley Jones won Oscars for their performances in what should have been (in my opinion) the Best Picture of the year for 1960. Lacaster’s depth and charecterization of Elmer Gantry is short of amazing. The storyline with the prostitute Lulu (played by Shirley Jones) I thought was most intriguing.  Lulu a former girlfriend of Elmer’s who fell into disrepute and became a prostitute when her affair with Gantry ruined her standing in her minister father’s eyes. She hears of his “new found faith” and tries to blackmail him, but instead backs out, but the deed is done and he is destroyed and humiliated. He then comes to her aid when she is abused by her pimp.


Jones gives a remarkable performance and was very oscar worthy. Jean Simmons also gives an outstanding performance as the evangelist. As I said before, I could watch this movie over and over. It deals with emotion, love, lust, greed and revenge. I am sure this story was riveting and an indictment in it’s day, but since then we have seen many of our own “Elmer Gantrys” played out in real life churches and pulpits across the country.

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Posted by on December 5, 2012 in 1960, 60's, Drama, Fav Films 1960, Reviews